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Thread: How much vertical space between drawers?

  1. #1
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    How much vertical space between drawers?

    Just built a set of 8 drawers in a cabinet. I shimmed the spacing between drawers at 1/8". I initially had them at 1/32" between drawers, but it seemed too tight for the tolerance in the drawer slides.

    What is typical for the spacing between each drawer and the one above it? I think that things may be too tight when I put on the false fronts. Do you space the drawers at 1/4" and use the false fronts to narrow the gap, or can you use the same small gap for the drawers and the false fronts?

  2. #2
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    that will work.

    I usually leave 1/16" between the false fronts. It is common to leave the space between the drawer boxes greater. I like to leave inch to an inch and a half between them. If they are too close and they get over filled they bind on the drawer or casework above them. Leaving the drawer box a little lower discourages the user from overfilling them to the point they bind.
    Tom

  3. #3
    I agree with Thomas. I'd leave an inch or so between drawer boxes. Let the false fronts take care of the perfect reveal.

  4. #4
    It really depends on the glides you are using. If they "front load", you don't need that much space although it's common practice to leave an inch or so for various reasons. But if you are using the kind of glides where you have to tilt the drawer box to engage the glides, you have to leave at least enough room for that or you will not be able to get the drawers into the cabinet which leaves you with one of those "Oh crap!" moments that we all try so hard to avoid. In "traditional" furniture making where you have wood webs or glides in the carcase for the drawers to ride on, there is usually at least 3/4" between the boxes themselves even though there might be only an eighth of an inch or less between the drawer sides and the webs or glides.
    David DeCristoforo

  5. #5
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    Whoops. May get interesting as I really wanted to maximize the number of drawers and have the distance 1/8" between all of them.

    I'm using Accuride side slides.

    Well, maybe time to take out the hand plane and plane myself a little room.

    Is there anyway to take a completed full size drawer and run in through a power jointer to reduce its height but be able to keep all 4 sides equal? Table saw and treat it like a box perhaps? Too large to fit in my 12" planer.

    Any thoughts on how to do this with power tools and still have straight, level drawers?
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 04-30-2010 at 2:34 PM.

  6. #6
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    I assume this isn't a face frame set up or the frame would dictate the spacing. In a situation with no horizontal frame member I would probably leave about an inch or so. In reality as long as the drawers don't hit anything you should be able to just stick them in and use them.

    Are you using false fronts? If so the size of the actual drawer is much less critical.

    You could tablesaw the boxes if you are comfortable with the operation and have full fence support for the entire cut.

    Joe
    JC Custom WoodWorks

    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Chritz View Post
    I assume this isn't a face frame set up or the frame would dictate the spacing. In a situation with no horizontal frame member I would probably leave about an inch or so. In reality as long as the drawers don't hit anything you should be able to just stick them in and use them.

    Are you using false fronts? If so the size of the actual drawer is much less critical.

    You could tablesaw the boxes if you are comfortable with the operation and have full fence support for the entire cut.

    Joe
    Yes, there will be false fronts. Correct, no face frame. I just think over time, with any sagging / movement of the drawers my tolerances will be two tight.

    Could a handheld power planer be used to reduce the vertical dimension of the drawers and keep them level?

    Would a router be a better choice to decrease the height of the drawers?

    Obviously, I could just eliminate 1 drawer and equally space out the remaining 7 drawers, but I'd really like all 8 of them, and really don't feel like spacing out the drawer slides again if at all possible.

  8. #8
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    +1 on Thomas.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post

    Obviously, I could just eliminate 1 drawer and equally space out the remaining 7 drawers, but I'd really like all 8 of them, and really don't feel like spacing out the drawer slides again if at all possible.
    Why not cut the drawer boxes off by an inch or so then? The slides will still be in the correct spots.

  10. #10

    Using table saw would be best I think

    Much easier to keep perfect and each cut the same. Seems like you don't quite want to give up your old idea and cut them with an inch of room, try a half or a quarter if you want em as big as possible. Be fun to look at a picture of the finished piece.
    Regards,
    Larry - Seattle

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Runde View Post
    Why not cut the drawer boxes off by an inch or so then? The slides will still be in the correct spots.
    My thoughts also, and to add, I don't see the need for the tops of your boxes to be cut perfectly level, a simple light sanding will take care of any rough spots. And again,as mentioned above, the glides will take care of the drawers.

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